One of the most overwhelming parts of making your wedding decisions is what others think you should do. A common line of reasoning is “do it this way because that’s the way it’s done”.
Well, times change and “non-traditions” flourish in this age of individuality. Plus you are unique and should have a wedding that reflects who you are and what you care about. For those reasons you do not have to follow tradition unless you want to! Make your own instead. Any piece of your wedding can be omitted or adjusted to fit your vision and budget.
Here, in no particular order, are some ideas.
1. Have a family wedding – instead of the couple only – by including your children in the vows with hugs and kisses all around.
2. Buy a wedding gown in your favorite color and put the bridesmaids in white.
3. Toast with a signature drink instead of champagne.
4. Have both sets of parents give away their son or daughter to the bride(s) or groom(s).
5. Instead of “giving away” the bride, have each set of parents “take in” the future spouse. (Not literally, of course. They don’t want you living with them!)
6. Let your bridesmaids wear cocktail dresses with a color or style theme rather than those made specifically as bridesmaid dresses.
7. Let the guys wear suits instead of renting tuxes.
8. Carry ferns instead of flowers.
9. Make the bouquets from buttons, brooches, or paper instead of flowers.
10. Instead of guests throwing rice or bird seeds as you come out of the church, play music and have everyone dance.
11. Go bareheaded instead of wearing a veil or hat.
12. Hold the ceremony some place besides a church.
13. Skip the guest book and opt for a creative way to remember your guests – a thumbprint wishing tree or wishing rocks, for example.
14. Set up a self-serve drink station instead of full service bar.
15. Instead of best man and maid of honor speeches, have those in the wedding party share their best story.
16. Have groomspeople and bridespeople instead of -maids and -men, mixing genders according to friendships or relation.
17. See each other before the wedding.
18. Toss something fun, like bride and groom bears or candy instead of the bouquet and garter.
19. Feed each other something besides cake – another dessert or favorite entree, for example.
20. Skip the tiered wedding cake altogether and have an ornate cake table with several single layer versions.
21. Provide an empty, food-friendly favor box and let guests choose their own from a candy or food buffet.
22. If there is no obvious choices for flower girls and ringbearers, omit them from the ceremony.
23. Make your centerpieces mini-dessert stations and forego separate desserts and favors.
24. Have son-mother-in-law and daughter-father-in-law dances.
25. Have the wedding party face the guests.
Or come up with your own ideas to create a ceremony and reception that reflects who you truly are as a couple. Any aspect of the wedding, short of the legalities, is optional or open to your own interpretation.